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Ijaw Youths threaten self defence as they allege federal government plot to launch Operation Crocodile Smile III

Ijaw youths under the aegis of the Ijaw Youth Congress have raised an alarm over an alleged plot by the federal government to launch Operation Crocodile Smile Iii in the Niger Delta region.

The group says it will defend its land against what it describes as a destructive Military drill and a declaration of war. They claim that hundreds of their youths who were rounded up during the last military exercise are still being held without charge. They also accused the army of looting properties worth billions of naira and violation of human rights. The council made these claims and more in a lengthy statement released by the president, Pereotubo Oweilaemi, Esq. The statement reads:

“The attention of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), worldwide has been drawn to a plan by the Nigerian military to re-launch its destructive military drill, code named ‘Operation Crocodile Smile III’ in the Niger Delta region. If the rumour is true as the Chief of the Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Brutai was alleged to have dropped the hint in a press briefing, then, we will see it as a declaration of war against Niger Delta people.
“We make bold to say that the Ijaw nation was at the receiving end of military unprovoked invasions through the previous military drills. The armed forces did not achieve anything in the previous exercises other than to kill innocent people and destroy the peaceful Ijaw communities. We will defend our communities from further invasions by the Nigerian armed forces even if it means to stage a peaceful protest across the length and breadth of Ijaw land in Nigeria.

“We are not at war with the Nigerian government to be subjected to such trauma. Is Tukur Buratai telling the Niger Delta people that the region is in anyway under siege or being conquered by the Nigerian government in conventional combat? We cannot forget in hurry the barbaric and a commando styled invasions of Ajapa, Safarogbo, Ajakurama, Inikorogha, Letugbene, Oporoza, Kurutie and other Communities in Bayelsa, Edo, Delta and Ondo states by the belligerent Nigerian armed forces in the name of Operations Crocodile Smile I and II. 
“Hundreds of Ijaw youths unlawfully arrested during the operations are still being unconstitutionally held incommunicado and have been incarcerated in various detention centres across the country without even being charged to court. The military in the name of these exercises has inflicted a devastating mayhem on our hearts and left with us an eternal terror of war. Was it not these same exercises that metamorphosed into a looting spree where the military invaded and looted the Ijaw communities to penury?
“The world should know that it was these same exercises that led to the uncivilized and most daring invasion of the revered Gbaramatu Kingdom traditional institution; the palace and the holy Egbesu shrine, which culminated in the looting of the sacred Egbesu sword and other valuable items worth billions of naira. Or has the military identified another target in the region that it is planning to invade and loot?

“We fear that this country is drifting towards the precipice. There is no crisis in the Niger Delta region or the South East that required another Operations Python Dance III and Crocodile Smile III. These are subtle declaration of war against these regions and they are provocative. President Buhari should not push this country to a needless civil war. Thousands of Nigerians are being slaughtered like fowl by the terror herdsmen on a daily basis in the Middle Belt, yet the military has not taken any dance step to the area. Why the South East and the Niger Delta regions are suited for military exercise?

“Is the Boko Haram conquered Sambisa Forest and the Fulani herdsmen terrorized Middle Belt region not good for the military exercise? No amount of Crocodile Smile or Python Dance will cow the southern Nigerians from agitating for restructuring and true federalism. For us in the Niger Delta, our lives depend on resource control, true federalism, political autonomy and self-determination. We can never be intimidated by Buratai even if he commits genocide with his provocative military exercise."

This post first appeared on Nigeriapen.Com, please read the originial post: here

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Ijaw Youths threaten self defence as they allege federal government plot to launch Operation Crocodile Smile III


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